The Legend of Korra: Why Zaheer’s Ideals Failed

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The Legend of Korra is commonly seen in lesser regard when in comparison with its predecessor, Avatar: The Last Airbender. But one space that followers can agree the present matched, and even surpassed, its predecessor is its villains. With the unlucky exception of Unalaq, the present had nice villains within the characters of Amon, Kuvira and Zaheer. Among these antagonists, Zaheer stands out as probably the most devoted to his beliefs and philosophy — beliefs that didn’t work out in addition to he may need hoped.


Throughout the third season of Korra, Zaheer and the remainder of the Red Lotus have a easy aim that they wish to obtain. They wish to carry peace to the world via the assassination of all of the world’s leaders, which they imagine will make the frequent folks of the world actually free and in a position to carve out their very own lives. They are devoted anarchists, and they’re highly effective sufficient to combat the world for his or her beliefs.

Related: How Forgiveness Became Avatar: The Last Airbender’s Best Recurring Theme


Zaheer’s Approach Failed Him and the World

Zaheer, all through the whole lot of Season 3, thought he was doing a service to the world. And in some methods, he might have been. The Earth Queen was proven to be tyrannical, boastful and even downright repulsive at occasions. Raiko, whereas an efficient politician, was an excessive amount of of a bureaucrat to actually lead Republic City. These are leaders whose removing from energy might have led to wholesome change.

But sadly, Zaheer didn’t carry out his revolution in a wholesome means. Additionally, his acts of revolution backfired not solely on himself, however on the world. Using a deadly Airbending transfer to kill the Earth Queen, whereas cathartic to many, was an motion that destabilized the Earth Kingdom and led to rampant chaos. And his makes an attempt to kill Korra resulted in her being unable to carry order to the fractured nation, giving Kuvira the prospect to stand up. This resulted in her turning into a dictator with ambitions to rival Ozai’s.

Related: An Avatar: The Last Airbender Game Should Leave Aang and Korra Behind

Zaheer’s Flaw Was His Focus on Guru Laghima

Zaheer’s failures could have stemmed from a misunderstanding of the tradition and determine he admired. Even earlier than turning into a bender after Harmonic Convergence, Zaheer at all times had a fascination and appreciation for the Airbender lifestyle. A lifestyle that espoused private freedom and the flexibility to reside life based on one’s personal guidelines, with out the necessity for a authorities to regulate them. But Airbenders have historically been a peaceable and nomadic individuals who reserve violence as a final resort. And whereas many Airbenders might have been anarchists, they have been non-violent anarchists who hoped that folks desirous about that lifestyle would be a part of them. Zaheer, then again, determined to attempt to make the world fall into his superb, which not solely did not work, however finally prompted freedoms to be misplaced for a lot of.

A extra basic flaw in Zaheer’s world view was his perception that this one particular facet of Airbender philosophy could possibly be utilized universally. Zaheer himself always refers to an historical Airbender referred to as Guru Laghima, who he admires immensely. He was the primary Airbender to attain the ability of flight by releasing his earthly tethers, and Zaheer believes that that is the best solution to reside: unaware or maybe uncaring that not everybody agrees. Everyone on his earth lived a life totally different to his, however he was too blinded by his ideology to care about that. He needed his objectives realized, and nothing else mattered to him.

In spite of his flaws, or maybe due to them, Zaheer stays probably the most compelling characters in all the Avatar universe. His calm demeanor, prodigious bending expertise and unwavering dedication to his beliefs make him a improbable villain to look at onscreen and an efficient cautionary story to viewers with comparable beliefs. While freedom is effective and should be cherished, there are some strategies that simply will not work.



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